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Kazakhstan Halts Oil Work Over Environment Concerns --> (RFE/RL) August 27, 2007 -- Kazakhstan halted work today at the Kashagan oil field, operated by the Italian group Eni, over what it said were environmental violations.

Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Iskakov said the government has shut down work at Kashagan for three months because questions about "environmental protection are not being answered."

Eni has faced increasing government pressure in recent months due to rising costs and production delays at the Kashagan site. Kazakhstan warned it could re-examine Eni's contract after Eni delayed the start of production from 2008 to 2010 and raised its cost projection from $57 billion to $136 billion.

The Kashagan oil field in the northeastern Caspian Sea has been described as one of the largest oil discoveries of the past 30 years.

(AFP, Reuters)

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Work on a Kazakh pipeline (TASS file photo)

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RFE/RL's coverage of Kazakhstan.